Opening date announced for Lavenham Tourist Information Centre community hub after transfer completed
PUBLISHED: 09:00 15 September 2018
Lavenham Tourist Information Centre has formally transferred to the parish council – with the new community hub there set to be open by December 1.
The centre in Lady Street is set to close on October 1 as Babergh District Council opted to axe traditional tourist information centres.
The council agreed to open talks with Lavenham Parish Council in March after it expressed an interest in taking it over to continue using it as a TIC, as well as Post Office and community information services.
On Thursday night, Babergh’s cabinet approved the transfer of the freehold to the parish council.
Carroll Reeve, parish council chairman said: “We are very pleased, it has safeguarded the future of the building for the community.
“It means we can put the Post Office there, carry on providing visitor information and support other visitor information so we are very pleased.
“We hope to take it over from the first of November and hope to open it on the first of December, so it’s good news.”
Currently the village only has a mobile Post Office which visits on Monday and Friday afternoons, with Mr Reeve previously stating that more than 300 jobs in the picturesque village depended on its tourism, which made retaining the centre vital.
Councillor Frank Lawrenson, cabinet member for assets and investments said: “We are delighted to transfer the property closer to the community it serves.
“This will help boost local involvement for the benefit of both local residents as well as the local economy.
“Transferring the freehold ownership of the property on Lady Street to the parish council, will give the community greater control over a key community asset, allowing decisions to be made on the ground.
“It will also give them the ability to directly put in place any initiatives needed to ensure future developments meet what the locality requires.”
While the freehold has transferred to the parish council, a community benefit society will be set up to operate the centre on a long-term lease.
It is understood the transfer includes a clawback clause for the council if Lavenham Parish Council finds it no longer wishes to run the building, as part of measures to safeguard it.